By Tom Bell
What you may know about Dave Hemingway is his successful musical career, starting with the Housemartins with popular songs “Caravan of Love” and “Five get over excited” but to name a few, to fronting Hull-based band The Beautiful South, with an entire catalogue of hits, such as “Rotterdam”, “Perfect 10”, “Good as Gold”, “Everybody’s talking” and “Don’t marry her.” What you may not have known about Dave is that he is a devoted United fan and season ticket holder, travelling up from North Cheshire for every home game. Dave took time out of his busy schedule with current musical project – The South, to speak to us at StretfordEndArising.com to answer a few questions about his love for Manchester United.
Tom Bell: When did you start to support Man United?
Dave Hemingway: “I’ve been supporting United for about forty-five years now. It all started in about 1966 with George Best and Bobby Charlton. You know, people often say ‘You’re from Hull, why don’t you support your own team?’ But at the time, with the football United played, I had my head turned and I’ve been with them ever since, through the good and the bad.”
TB: When was the first time you ever saw United play?
DH: “My first game was actually against Hull in the Watney Cup in 1971. At the time I couldn’t really get up to Old Trafford and get tickets so when they came to Hull I managed to get to that game. I seem to remember it going to penalties” (It did, the game end in a 1-1 draw and United won on penalties)
TB: Do you manage to get on the games much?
DH: “Yeah, I’ve got my own season tickets with my son. It took a few years to get there though but we did in the end. We sit adjacent to the tunnel on the opposite corner, kind of near the goal. They’re really good seats actually. We’re near the pitch and get a great view.”
TB: In which case, do you have any match-day superstitions or routines?
DH: “Not really, although my son did buy me a black United t-shirt for my birthday, you know with the badge on and stuff so I wear that to every game. To be fair, we’ve never lost when I’ve worn it so you could say that”
TB: What’s your favourite ever United game that you went on?
DH: “Tough one. Although I think I’ll have to say the Champions League Semi-final against Barcelona in 2008. The one with the Paul Scholes screamer. It was a fantastic defensive performance once we went 1-0 up against that fantastic team. You look at the Barcelona team now and it really isn’t much different so it really was a fantastic performance. I remember Owen Hargreaves having a brilliant game that day. It really is a shame how things turned out for him, it’s a shame he’s gone.”
TB: So which is your favourite goal that you’ve seen?
DH: “I quite enjoyed the Michael Owen goal against City at the Stretford end, it was last minute and won us the game. Although Rooney’s overhead kick against City this season was good too. Again though, the Paul Scholes screamer against Barcelona in 2008 will have to be it because of the importance of it.”
TB: Who is your all-time favourite United player that you’ve seen play and why?
DH: “I’d have to say Mark Hughes. I’ve only ever been to one FA Cup final and it was in 1985. Normal Whiteside scored the goal in extra time against Everton. (Hughes played in that game) Hughes was just such an exciting player, he scored spectacular goals and scored whenever we needed him too”
TB: Who is your current favourite United player and why?
DH: “Young Hernandez. He’s a brilliant young talent and goal-scorer, especially for the money we paid for him”
TB: If you could see United bring in any player, past or present, who would it be and why?
DH: “At the moment it would have to be Lionel Messi. He just might be the best player ever. You know people say Maradona won a World Cup and stuff but still, Messi would be very hard to beat and he’s still time to win one yet”
TB: Do you have a most disliked team?
DH: “Leeds United. I used to live in Leeds and I played football for quite a rough local team. I would have probably been in danger if I said I supported Man United. That’s the kind of fans they are! In all fairness, we’ve had some great battles with Leeds down the years. Obviously being knocked out the cup by them the other year was a blow but that’s football”
TB: Is there a particular player you dislike more than any other?
DH: “I’ve never been a fan of Arjen Robben. I don’t really know why. He turned us down for Chelsea and their money which didn’t win him any favours with me I tell you. Obviously now he’s at Bayern Munich, he’s a talented player but I’ve just never seemed to like him.”
Overall Dave has sold around ten million records worldwide. He is presently living in North Cheshire and continues to operate within music with his current project – ‘the South’, made up of former ex-members of the Beautiful South. Speaking about the South, Dave said:
DH: “Yeah we’ve got some gigs coming up later in the year around the country. We’re currently undergoing a management change but the gigs still stand. We don’t just perform our own stuff either, we play a mix of the Beautiful South stuff as well as our own written work. A mix of old and new”
Dave also released some solo work prior to ‘the South’. His first solo album “Hello Cruel World” has been released and is available to download as a download, exclusively on iTunes.